The Florida Aquarium–MUCH More Than Your Typical Aquarium!!

We had been to the Clearwater Beach, Florida area several times, but decided to head into Tampa this trip to see what there was to offer!

We hit a shopping complex, decommissioned military ship, and The Florida Aquarium. However, by far, The Florida Aquarium was our favorite!

The Florida Aquarium is AMAZING

Our jouney begins!!

Due to admission restrictions, we had to wait outside until our exact entry time. To kill time, we took some pictures and looked at the various displays outside of the aquarium.

The inside was beautifully decorated…the guest services areas, as well as the actual aquariums.

Social Distancing Reminders

Due to COVID-19, there were social distancing guidelines in place.

The employees did a great job of making friendly reminders like those shown below!

Sealife

My family and I have been traveling since the children were babies. We have seen all kinds of museums, zoos, and aquariums, so The Florida Aquarium had some stiff competition before we ever even entered the door!

I have to say that The Florida Aquarium passed our expectations!

Our favorite aquarium is still The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, but The Florida Aquarium is tied for second place with the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky!

I love the sea dragons!
My husband’s favorite is the jelly fish!
This was such an amazing tank with beautiful glass pottery!

Touchy Feely

I’m a touchy-feely kind of girl and LOVE being able to touch critters at aquariums!

There were three different areas to touch sea life at The Florida Aquarium!

Sea anemones and starfish

Jelly Fish (again, my husband’s favorite)

There were also sting rays you could touch. However, I was too excited to touch them to get any pictures!!!

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More than just aquatic animals

You can’t forget their adorable mascot!!
This sea turtle was included in the Wetlands section.

Education

Part of what I love about traveling is learning something new!

Lionfish

Information about lionfish was not new to me, but such an important example of being cautious with our decisions.

Lionfish are an invasive species that were put in the area by humans. They are not indigious to the area and cause a great deal of damage to the enviroment because of this.

They are beautiful, but harmful to the environment.

Learn more about lionfish here.

Caring for our planet and our oceans

I had never heard of washedashore.org before, but they had amazing displays both inside and outside of The Florida Aquarium.

They educate people by making beautiful displays and artwork from the trash in oceans, seas, and other bodies of water.

If you look closely, you can see the artworks are made from broken flipflops, sand toys, soda can tops, and so much more trash.

For me, it was both amazing and heartbreaking. The artwork was great, but the knowledge that this is such as small piece of all the trash in the oceans is very sad.

Family Fun!

The whole reason I travel is to have fun with my family!

Here is a picture of me and my husband doning our mask!

Check out more fun things to do in the Tampa/Clearwater Beach, Florida area, and some of our travel necessities!

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38 thoughts on “The Florida Aquarium–MUCH More Than Your Typical Aquarium!!”

  1. Thanks for this post. We had a trip planned to Tampa in March when the COVID shut-down changed all that. We are planning to eventually reschedule with our friends, and this time I will add to e Aquarium to our list of things to do there.

  2. We love aquariums! I didn’t know they were open again! My favorite are the stingrays! Anytime I can get a pet I’m so excited!!! Great pictures!

  3. Who knew? Not I! My niece lives in the Tampa area; I may need to check this out next time I’m there.
    I’m surprised that the aquarium is open. Here in New Mexico, museums are nowhere near to opening.
    Beautiful pics; I really enjoyed looking at everything.

  4. I haven’t been to a good aquarium in a while. Cleveland got a new one a few years ago, but it’s not as nice as the one at the Zoo. The art made from trash is a good reminder why it’s important to properly dispose of your waste.

  5. I lived outside of Tampa for a few years for college but I don’t think I ever went to the Florida Aquarium. I remember visiting the Clearwater Aquarium once after those Dolphin Tale movies came out though.

  6. I like the lion fish! Although having been to Tampa many times we have never been to the aquarium. We will have to check it out next time we are there. The aquarium in Newport, Kentucky is nice if you ever get there. The best part is walking across the rope bridge above the shark tank! It is a blast. I also have to do a shout out for Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto too which is nice also.

    1. We like Newport too! However, The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga is my favorite! It has two separate buildings: one for saltwater and one for freshwater!

  7. I love that you named your top three aquariums. The only one I’ve been to in a long time is the one in Oregon. I don’t have anything to compare it to. Maybe it’s time for a trip!

  8. A good aquarium always makes the kids happy. I have not been to this one yet. Perfect for my grandkids for when we head across the state!

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